Journalism I’m Proud of in 2019

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From digging into negative impacts of major city redevelopment plans to finding out if apartment renewal deadlines need to be so early, I’ve tried my best over the past year to focus on stories that can make a difference. It has meant following up on stories, asking new questions, challenging officials, and giving single topics my undivided attention sometimes for weeks on end. It’s what I did in 2019 and it’s what I hope to continue to do in 2020.

Below are the top 10 stories I was proud to have a role in 2019, both in front and behind the camera, both at CitrusTV – where I’m a Reporter, EP, and Assignment Editor and at NBC10 – where I was a Summer Intern.

1. I led CitrusTV’s coverage from the #NotAgainSU sit-in. As events taking place on campus became more chaotic, I stayed with protesters, trying to make sure our reporting was consistent, fair, accurate, and thorough.


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The past 2 weeks on campus have both been the most exhausting and rewarding of my entire life. Since most of my reporting on the #NotAgainSU sit-in lives either on Twitter or on our CitrusTV broadcasts, I’ve combined some of my reporting in a video shown below. For more of my reporting on the protests, click this link: https://bit.ly/34osNUN In all there were at least 16 racist or bias incidents on or near campus in a span of 2 weeks. The protests started initially in response to both what students felt was a cover-up by administrators and because of an overall climate on campus that led to marginalized students feeling unsafe. As the first student journalist on-scene when the protests began, I’ve felt a certain responsibility to make sure their story was told right. And as national media descended on campus, our job as student journalists – with the connections and trust we build with our peers – became ever more important. At the end of the day, protesters got most of what they wanted with the Chancellor signing off on 16 of the group’s 19 demands. At the same time I’ve had to grow a lot as a reporter during this. The speed at which developments took place often left very little time to prepare to go live on-air. Scriptwriting was often not an option – I would just have to go with what I knew and start to talk on air until a minute-thirty was up. To everyone who has helped to prepare me for a moment like this I want to thank you – especially everyone at NBC10 who last summer taught me so much about how to respond when breaking news hits. I of course wasn’t the only person reporting on this story for Citrus. I’m incredibly proud to be part of a student station with so many talented journalists who have all worked tirelessly to have a real impact on getting information out to our campus community.

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2. As an NBC10 intern: During a hostage standoff with 6 officers shot I worked a tip about a next-door daycare. I spent an hour tracking down the owner who confirmed the safety of 80 kids huddled inside. As the owner spoke on the air our cameras caught police evacuating children.

3. For CitrusTV News’s City of Syracuse Special, I followed up on my earlier report about how the I-81 Community Grid plan could bring the community together with a story about how a separate but related plan could tear the existing community apart.

4. My reporting earlier in the year on I-81 included my role as a Series Producer for CitrusTV’s I-81 Crossroads series. I spent hours interviewing people who advocate for different options for the highway’s future. Below is one of the reports I produced.

 

5. In October I captured the sights and sounds of SU’s annual rose-laying ceremony on the Friday of Remembrance Week. I turned my first Nat Pak around for that evening’s newscast.

6. In early September I found out why off-campus housing renewal deadlines had been pushed so early this year.

 

7. I sat down with Chief Facilities Officer Pete Sala to get answers about why SU demolished buildings on Ostrom Ave as well as find out why they changed the date for college convocations, and why students weren’t told earlier. That report is below

8. Back as an intern at NBC10, I pitched a story (based on a tip) about “hundreds” of rats overrunning a Philly block, residents saying calls to the city went unanswered. The city showed up the day after our report aired. Rats finally started disappearing.

 

9. I did a series of reports about security in res halls, trying to find out why SU is about to place DPS officers in dorms 24/7, limiting access to residents & signed-in guests. A separate report looked at confusion surrounding the overnight guest policy.

 

10. Finally, for my BDJ364 long-form, I found out how the county is working with corner stores to help fill-in food deserts in Syracuse.

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